Tuesday, September 27, 2011

So It Begins!

My war on GLUE begins today! I decided last week that I was going to have a long discussion with each class about glue. I asked the class who enjoys glue (everyone raised their hand). I then asked the class, who likes when the glue bottle gets clogged (no one raised their hand). I told everyone that I hated glue, but like them love what it does in art. We then talked about what to do when the glue bottle clogs.
3. When a bottle gets clogged bring the bottle up to MR. LAWNICZAK... he will give you a new one and fix the clogged one.
4. I reemphasized that I will never get mad if you come up to me and ask me to unclog a glue bottle. I WILL GET MAD AND TAKE AWAY YOUR GLUE BOTTLE PRIVILEGES IF I SEE YOU USING A SCISSORS TO UNCLOG IT!

After all of this... I then brought the students over to the demonstration table and did a demonstration on the use of gravity and the fact that no one needs the glue bottle open all the way open.

I did what I could... The rest of the year is up to them. I'm excited for next year and my glue demonstration improvements haha (since I know there will be problems). Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Texture Lesson

My first third grade lesson... texture. The student did a great job on something that was a new term and subject for them. We talked about texture as something that's not smooth. The students took paper and crayons at first to rub different textures found around the room. The next class I brought in pictures of every day objects. We concentrated on the shapes that created texture, instead of the objects themselves (ex. squares that don't touch instead of BRICKS). They drew each of these textures on a sheet of paper filled with thumbnail sketch squares. They took these sketches and used them to draw textures inside of a snake, lizard, or turtle line drawing.
The students in the end traced over the pencil lines with a fine tip marker. They outlined the texture barrier lines and the outline of the reptiles with a medium tip marker in the end. I hope you enjoy! I forgot what blog I got the idea for it from but THANK YOU!

Lesson Plan:

Lesson: Visual Texture

Grade: 3rd Grade

Estimated Time: 3 class periods

Wisconsin State Standards:

H.4.3 Shows differences among colors, shapes, textures, and other qualities of objects in their artwork.

C.4.5 Look at nature and works of art as visual resources.

E.4.1 Communicate basic ideas by producing studio art forms, such as drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures, jewelry, fibers, and ceramics.


Students will learn to look at nature for inspiration in texture

Students will work and talk about the use of the elements and principles of design

Students will learn to talk about their own work

Key Concepts:

Exposure to: drawing, permanent markers, textures and scissor cutting.

Mondrian Squares

Piet Mondrian (2nd grade)

YAY! I am very excited because I am officially posting my first lessons. My second grade learned about the Primary colors and the artist Piet Mondrian. I love the individuality of this lesson. They all turned out amazing and it was a huge confidence boost for their first year teacher (myself). We started out the lesson with a review on the primary colors (I say review, but none of my students knew the primary colors by second grade... good thing I'm here). After I introduced the students to the primary colors I showed them the work of Piet Mondrian. We talked about the use of colors and the formation of squares and rectangles. I forget which blog I got this idea from, but thank you. The lesson allowed me to introduce basic colors, painting skills, ruler skills, and gluing skills = Awesome lesson. My second graders loved how they turned out. Lesson plan (I will be providing the lesson plans I turn in every week to my principal in hope that I can help new teachers).

Lesson: Piet Mondrian

Grade: 2nd Grade

Estimated Time: 3 class periods

Wisconsin State Standards:

H.4.3 Shows differences among colors, shapes, textures, and other qualities of objects in their artwork.

A.4.1 Develop a basic mental storehouse of images

E.4.1 Communicate basic ideas by producing studio art forms, such as drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures, jewelry, fibers, and ceramics.


Students will develop painting skills

Students will learn to work with a ruler

Key Concepts:

Exposure to: Piet Mondrian, primary colors, painting, and working with a ruler.

Please enjoy the students artwork... I am very proud and excited to show parents and staff all of their hard work!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I Love My Parents and Teachers

When I interviewed for the elementary art position, I was asked what it means to be a professional. After I got the position I soon learned it means way more than just what happens in the classroom. In the small town I now call home, I have found that no matter where I go I can expect to be spotted by one of my students. No matter where I am, I have to be a professional.
At the end of the day, I couldn't ask for a better situation. Today I went to Walgreen's, within seconds of being in the store I was spotted by one of my students who I greeted with a hello. As I passed him I heard the student tell his father..."That's my art teacher Mr. Lawniczak." Soon after I was introduces to the father, who came up to me on his own to welcome me to his town. I have been welcomed with open arms by every parent and staff member I have met. As an art teacher, friends are extremely important... I need stuff (junk to some, and gold to me). In an email to the staff and a newsletter soon to parents I ask for things like: Cereal boxes, egg cartons, Pringles cans, paper towel rolls, and any other craft (junk) supplies. After sending out the staff email, I was surprised to see bags and bags of stuff waiting for me the next morning. As you can see in the picture.... junk, lots and lots of junk... I love it! I can't do everything as a single person, but with great parents and staff I always have help. My students are lucky, and their teacher even luckier.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Four Corners - Art Game

Four Corners is a game that educates your students without them knowing it... HaHa. In Four Corners (a game I picked up from another art teacher during subbing) your room needs to have something posted in each of your four corners of your room. I start the year out with four basic colors and will evolve into artist, elements and principles of design, and names of important works of art. This game is a great reward and without the students knowing it gets them saying and talking about the words (artist, colors, themes, principles, elements and so on). Another reason this game is awesome is because there is no RUNNING or TALKING.
1. There has to be one students picked to be the "Caller." This students has to sit at a desk with his head down (no peaking) He counts to 7-10 seconds out loud.
2. By the time the Caller is done counting to 7 or 10 all of the other students have to WALK to one of the four corners of the room.
3. The Caller then (without looking) calls out a corner (a color, artist, element, principle, theme, and so on).
4. The students that are at that corner are then OUT.
5. Any student that RUNS... are OUT!
6. Students soon find out that those who run or talk are heard by the caller and make it easy for the caller to tell which corner has classmates present.
7. When it gets down to 4 students or less then only one person can stand at a corner.
8. The last person left WINS... and becomes the next CALLER ( you would be amazed at how many students want to be the Caller.

Enjoy and have fun with it. I tell my students that art should be fun and we will have fun in my class as long as they listen and RESPECT one another, the teacher, and the room. When they do this then we have fun with the free time left in class.

When Teaching Kindergarten Colors, When Is It Too Early To Introduce Painting?

I started a lesson today in my kindergarten classes introducing the students to the primary colors. In each lesson I want to combine a book or an artist with the lesson subject or idea. With this lesson I introduced the kindergarten to the artist Alexander Calder and his colorful (primary colored) mobiles. I could have had the students use markers or crayons, but I thought what the heck lets let them paint and get them started right out the gate with PAINT. The kindergarten teachers in both my buildings are AWESOME and are doing a great job of teaching the students colors in the first weeks of school. As an art teacher I see it as my duty to show my students how to hold a paintbrush and paint. Some people I have asked feel that I should wait till the kindergarten teachers introduce painting.... Well I'm a first year teacher so if I fall on my face, then I laugh it off and remember for the next year.
As I was teacher the students how to paint their individual squares with individual colors, I took it step-by-step and had the students grab a new brush each time they started a new color (I was the brushes after class.... time and brush saver). I thought my kindergartners did a great job. A couple of them dropped paint on the floor and stepped in it, (little foot prints all over the room) but this was the biggest problem. Heck I can paint, but I still drip paint so I figure if this is my only problem then things went well.
Please let me know what you think.... and once I add pictures let me know how you might have done the lesson differently and without paint is you disagree with my PAINT on the first lesson.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Classroom (two of two)

Welcome to my second classroom... at this school I teach kindergarten- 2nd grade. The classroom is huge and I love every part of it. This room has a Smartboard and more cabinets than I know what to do with (I say this now). As of right now the room is pretty plain... hoping in weeks to fill it up with colorful projects made by the students.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Find the Mona Lisa

I have to give all the credit to my cooperating teacher during student teaching for this idea. I call it "Find the Mona Lisa"... I hide the small picture of the Mona Lisa around the room every week and when there is that awkward unplanned time that you have when your class cleans up too quick, you play the Mona Lisa game. The students are asked to look for Mona. When a student finds it, he or she raises their hand and has to tell the class where it is without pointing or looking straight at it. Using descriptive words / directions the student describes where the painting is (ex. the Mona Lisa is on the wall with the door on it. It is below waist high and towards the left corner....). This game helps students learn from one another and gain new vocabulary.... I love it, thanks Deb!
The one to describe where the Mona Lisa is, gets to line up first... and the student that can tell me who painted the Mona Lisa can line up second.

Classroom Management... Trying This Out

I got this idea while subbing for an art teacher in the Luxemburg school district. The colors on each of the tables corresponds with the colors along side the classroom duties chart. The colors rotate each week allowing each table to alternate in the clean-up duties. The first category is teachers helper... Yes, these students help the teacher hand out papers, supplies, and anything else. The second, third, and forth category are all clean up duties. Sweepers sweep and the sponge crew sponges the tables followed up with the driers who dry the tables. The students seem eager to try this out and you would be amazed by the amount of students that are still unable to sweep the floor and hold a broom.
In the art room we learn way more than colors and past artist! haha...as long as my ideas work.

My Classroom (one of the two)

After a week of cleaning out cabinets, drawers, boxes, and more cabinets... Things are finally coming together. There is nothing more satisfying after all the hard work than your new students coming in and telling you that they like the new classroom way better than the past teachers the year before. I don't mean to bad talk a teacher, I am just happy that my students feel comfortable and enjoy the new surroundings.
The pictures above show pictures of one of my two classrooms. As a first year teacher can I say... covering the wall suck! I want the walls to be colorful and educational with paintings and art terms, but I wasn't inherited anything and don't have the money for all new posters. So I did what all artist do... I started drawing, cutting and painting. It's a lot of work, but I love this job!
If you look at the pictures you will notice my awesome track closets that role on a type of track. They are awesome and slide extremely easy. Also, look at the tennis balls on the legs of the chairs. My students are constantly moving their chairs as they get up to line up or meet me at the table for a demonstration and there is only silence... The tennis balls are genius.

Pictures of my other classroom are soon to come.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Welcome to Waupaca... ART TEACHER

Well it finally happened.... I got a Art Teaching JOB! Humans are often told after something bad happens that things happen for a reason. The phrase is never comforting until it comes true. Interview after interview I was fed this line. I would either fall in love with the school or the city before the interview, and then be heart broken when I found out that I didn't land the job. In the case of Waupaca I loved the city and the school, yet left the interview feeling as if I bombed it.
My surprise three days later that I landed the job at a school I loved located in a city I love just as equally so... Things happen for a reason!
I am now a K-5 art teacher at two different elementary schools. At both schools I have my own classrooms full of junk (an art teachers dream) and a surplus of supplies left by the previous teacher.